The hard truth about blogging...
Specifically, blogging in our breast cancer community, is facing we have an expiration date. Or rather our "sell by" date. The date we're forced to realize, from here on out, we're not so fresh or at our best anymore.
We learn we're mortal.
I suppose there's lots of ways to learn that, if we look hard enough, but in this blogosphere, we get it without trying. I don't need to ascend Everest or jump out of a plane to grasp that life is short. All I have to do is check Facebook and follow some Breast Cancer bloggers.
We are aware.
We know better than anyone, breast cancer lives. We know that once it latches on, it stays for the whole ride-- Whether actively riding shotgun or sitting dormant in the backseat. We know we won't travel solo ever again.
I'm just thankful these days, leaving it in the backseat is an option. I can close the door and ignore it for a while. I'm lucky that way.
The thing is-- on any given day that can change. We all aren't lucky all the time and by following our community, that's a lesson learned over and over.
Recently, we lost a blogger named, Carolyn Frayn. I didn't know Carolyn. She started blogging after I had stopped, but last year Nancy's Point shared a post Carolyn had written for a blog called Get Up Swinging, which caught my eye and chilled my bones.
Carolyn and I were diagnosed on the exact same day.
May 1, 2009
It wasn't mammogram day. It wasn't biopsy day. Diagnosis...Breast Cancer. Those words, said to us on the very same day.
In my mind, that day had been all about me. That's my day. If ever there's a day to be selfish, being told you have breast cancer is the one. I still see myself front and center on that terrible day and now, learning someone else shared it feels like getting doused with icy water and told to wake up.
It wasn't just me. Someone else had the same crappy day.
That fact sinks heavily in my brain and lays there, as that date does.
Of course, it's possible. Big world and all, but that day was never about others. It was all mine...until it wasn't.
It was the day that changed everything. The day that ultimately brought me here to blog.
That day brought Carolyn here.
Only she's no longer here.
One day, two paths.
So many "what ifs." She must have wondered. As I still do.
And, I face my mortality once again.
May 1, 2009 must have been my Sell By date. The day I got off the shelf, forced to deal with my new reality called breast cancer. As it was Carolyn's. Without our community here, I never would have known about her. I never would have known the date that changed my life would eventually take hers-- And I am so sorry for her loss and the shattering of yet, one more family.
Maybe this is why we blog. Amidst the most difficult of life's moments...to learn about others like us. To share our stories and work for change. Maybe that's why we do it. So, we'll realize despite the sad stories, there are amazing women out there we never would have met. We're not alone. If nothing else, blogging about breast cancer teaches us that.
It has to be for something.
Please take a minute and check out Carolyn's blog, Art of Breast Cancer. She was one hell of a writer and photographer.